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Was the Drunk Driving in California Stop Valid?

  • Did the officer have reasonable suspicion of a violation?
  • Did a tipster observe improper driving?
  • Was the roadblock operated in constitutional fashion?
  • Was the officer acting as a “community caretaker?”



The first questions that the attorneys at Summit Defense will ask is, “Was the stop even valid?” A DUI is a serious charge. Since it can affect both your current employment and future job prospects, it is important to consider every possible avenue for getting the charges dismissed. The reason for the stop is one of the most important facets to consider when determining the validity of an officer’s actions.

If your stop was due to the information of a named or an anonymous tipster, you may be in a better position for having the stop declared invalid. Anonymous tipsters cannot come forward to testify about your drunk driving in California, and if his or her initial information is later deemed insufficient or false, your case may be dismissed. The Ninth Circuit Court has established strict guidelines that determine the validity of anonymous tips, which must include a range of details, predict a suspect’s future movements, and which then must be corroborated by police observation.

Summit Defense will examine whether anonymous tipsters’ information caused your arrest and will use this to fight the validity of the stop. However, if you were arrested at a roadblock, you may still have a chance for a dismissal based on the validity of the stop. Roadblocks set up to stop drunk driving in California must be operated in a Constitutional manner in order for their stops to count as valid in a court. There are a number of factors that need to be in place to run a Constitutional roadblock, including: limits of field officers’ discretion, reasonable length and nature of detention, proper time and location.

The lawyers at Summit Defense will carefully analyze the nature of your stop from beginning to end to find weakness in the validity of the initial stop as well as field sobriety testing. For those facing a DUI charge, we recommend that you  contact our offices to set-up a free initial consultation.

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